Community Wishlist Survey 2017/Search/Order search results by date of last edit or alphabetically

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki

Order search results by date of last edit or alphabetically

  • Problem: Search results in wikipedia are always sorted by relevance. It would be often very helpful, if results could be sorted by date of last edit or alphabetically by title.
  • Who would benefit: Everyone
  • Proposed solution:
  • More comments:


Can you provide an example or two where your proposed criteria would provide better results? I am constantly amazed that the search feature has no options. Adding options (like the Ti: Au: etc. options for searching back issues of a journal) would add so much functionality for users Downtowngal (talk) 23:26, 11 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Endorse this (original) proposal, it is so bad to not have any options of searching through fora archives and scripts, for example, without having an option to sort the list in any way. stjn[ru] 16:42, 12 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I too would like to better understand the uses cases for alphabetical results. Would the results be an alphabetical list by page title? As for date-related search features, you can add "prefer-recent:" to your search queries to add more weight to recently edited pages (example) (documentation). It is not perfect. CKoerner (WMF) (talk) 15:49, 13 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There are so many obvious usecases, that I really don’t know where to start... -Arch2all (talk) 17:42, 13 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Use cases are really important for determining how and / or what to build or adjust. For instance, if you search on 'butterfly' — do you really need them to be in alphabetical order? What use case would that solve? deb (talk) 01:41, 14 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"What to build or to adjust?": Making search results sortable by alphabet or last edit! I won’t post here an example for such a general task, because I don’t want to start a discussion about a specific usecase (and possible workarounds) --Arch2all (talk) 12:06, 14 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No-one will build what you want if you can not or will not discuss the rationale. Please add your use case(s). --Izno (talk) 13:56, 14 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This page is called "Community Wishlist Survey". I just posted my wishes and I don’t want to discuss or justify them. --Arch2all (talk) 20:01, 14 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Then you probably won’t even make it out of the proposal phase. The main page basically says that you need to have what we’re suggesting. Even if it does make it out of proposals, no-one will vote for it if they don’t understand why it is needed. --Izno (talk) 20:58, 14 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And even if it’s voted on, and somehow makes it into the top 10-20, then it still won’t be implemented. Are you being stubborn Just Because? Do you actually want this feature or are you attempting to waste a lot of other’s time? --Izno (talk) 21:01, 14 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Another bad thing on the current relevance based result scheme: Search results (from different dates) are difficult to compare, because relevance to a certain search keyword is a complex unstable thing. --Arch2all (talk) 17:51, 13 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • That is partially already supported by mw:User:PerfektesChaos/js/resultListSort.
    In a nutshell:
    • A lot of special page results (actually 30 page types) may be ordered.
    • Search is one of them.
    • The search results which are sorted by best match when arriving may change order interactively (or even programmatically)
      • by page name (or title as significant)
      • by size
      • by last change
    • Listed sequence of the local page may be changed as often as wanted locally.
    • Naturally, this is limited to the case that all results of interest would be retrieved by a single page. If you want to walk through 20,000 pages in alphabetical order as a category list permits, the current server still delivers in best match order.
Greetings --PerfektesChaos (talk) 18:16, 15 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"PerfektesChaos sorgt für Ordnung": Thanks, for this Javascript tool. Indeed this helps to sort the search results as needed, but as You already mentioned, this is limited to results with max 500 entries. More results can't retrieved as a single page. And it should be obvious, that sorting results becomes really useful on large resultsets. A serverside solution is still necessary. --Arch2all (talk) 18:06, 20 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I had the same idea: Community Wishlist Survey 2017/Search/Search by date. Livenws (talk) 01:10, 21 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would like to give an example of why I would like results sorted by date. If I need to recategorize a group of images from one photographer, I cannot find them by title. But if they were batch-uploaded by a bot, I can find them together by the date of upload. Downtowngal (talk) 01:58, 2 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]